Obama and change…what it means for businesses

So Obama has won. What does this mean for businesses across the USA? What does it mean for the world in general?

Honestly I don’t know. The problems facing the president-elect are too complex for any single man to fix. Maybe life will improve during his term in office. Maybe the economy will completely fall flat. I just don’t know.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. This blog posting is more of a personal note.

There was a time decades ago when people didn’t assume every black man to be a criminal, thug, or gangster. We were just faces in the crowd like everyone else.

But the recent few decades of media stereotyping has caused people to imagine the worst of every unknown black man. It’s as if the public imagines every one of us grew up in some crime ladden gang town, we each speak with some weird southern drawl, and we each carry a gat Or two.

Not true. Heck, I had to look the word up. I thought gat was spelled gatt. Shows what I know.

Anyhow, I fail to fit imagined stereotypes.

I can’t rap [I can’t even stomach most of it — accept videos of Little Kim with the sound turned off ;-) ]. I can barely dance at all. I don’t care for most fried foods. And have never been arrested or jailed or even handcuffed.

But I have been pulled over by cops about two dozen times in my life. I have even been searched once as a teenager — all for no reason. Honestly.

Many of my white friends over the years have objected saying it’s not possible to get pulled over doing absolutely nothing wrong. Cops won’t pull a person over unless something illegal or suspicious is taking place.
Over and over again they say they can’t possibly imagine this to be true.

That’s because they’ve never experienced being stopped or approached while just driving, walking, jogging, bike riding, sitting in their own car in their own driveway, or while just sitting in their cars waiting for their kids to get out of school soon as the bell rings — despite the streets being crowded with other parents.

I have. All of the above and more.

Though I’ve never been in trouble with the law, have no unsightly scars and don’t even walk ‘black’ … complete strangers still act threatened by me. They fear me. Not just me. But black men in general.

How can I tell? Here’s just one example.

Women in grocery stores switch their purses to the opposite side of their bodies or run to their unattended shopping carts when I enter ‘their’ aisle…as if someone really would steal their unpaid for groceries. Give me a break.

And it’s not just in stores that people stereo-type me. I have experienced it online too. ‘I only requested your materials to see what an arrogant black man thinks he can teach me about business,’ was a reply I received anonymously on one of my web forms. No prior discussions with that person whatsoever. Caught me off guard when i opened my email.

About Andre Bell
Andre strives to help marketers discover the near-immediate impact of honest ethical marketing practices. He has advised hundreds of business owners on how to keep their dignity as they implement direct response marketing methods that work. Andre is one of only a handful of remaining professionals who can boast having become an online marketer a decade before the World Wide Web came into existence. And as a serial entrepreneur Andre launched his first direct mail business around the age of 12-years old. He has been building and advising ever since.

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